|‘Empty nesters’ targeted in new fostering campaign
PARENTS in Wigan borough whose children have “flown the nest” are being encouraged to foster.
So-called “empty nesters” are being asked to take in one of the children currently in the care of Wigan Council.
The latest phase of the “You Can Foster” campaign is urging people in their late forties and fifties who may have seen their own children move out of the family home to consider fostering a child in care. It’s hoped they’ll be persuaded to put their parenting skills into practice again.
The You Can Foster campaign is run by the North West’s 23 local authorities. There’s a shortage of foster carers across the region. A series of initiatives have taken place throughout the year to persuade more people to become foster carers. In 2012, fostering services across the UK need to recruit 8,750 new foster families to offer children the safe and stable homes they need.
Cllr Susan Loudon, Wigan Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for children and young people, says: “At this time of year many parents see their children leaving for university or getting jobs away from home.
“We’re asking those people to seriously think about fostering. It would be a chance to put their years of experience of raising a family to use and an opportunity to make a real difference to the life of a child.
“Fostering can be hugely rewarding and Wigan Council works hard to ensure all our foster carers get the support and advice they need.”
According to the Fostering Network, the average age of foster carers is now 53 for women and 54 for men. In 2000, the average was 46 and 47 respectively. The upward trend in the age of carers is put down to factors such as more people taking early retirement and living longer.
A series of advertisements on ITV will promote the campaign.
For more information on fostering for your local authority visit www.youcanfoster.org or telephone 0800 634 7052